Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Waste of Time and Energy

Nobody has any ideas anymore?
The network has given a script commitment to a reboot of The Brady Bunch from executive producerVince Vaughn and CBS Television Studios, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. 
The multicamera comedy about the famed TV family would revolve around the youngest of Mike Brady's boys, Bobby Brady, as a divorced dad who remarries and starts a new family. 
Raising Hope's Mike Mariano will pen the project and executive produce alongside Lloyd Schwartz, son of the late Sherwood Schwartz, who created the original ABC sitcom that ran from 1969-74. Vaughn, Victoria Vaughn and Peter Billingsleywill also exec produce through the actor's Wild West Picture Show Productions shingle.
There are no ideas out there? Nobody has an innovative way of making people laugh? We're just going to reboot the 1970s and hope for the best?

This is What Happens When You Allow People to Steal Valor

You knew this was bound to happen:
New Jersey has sued two state residents, claiming they collected tens of thousands of dollars in donations for a bogus 9/11 charity. 
In the lawsuit filed Monday in Superior Court, the New Jersey Attorney General's Office claims 66-year-old Mark Niemczyk of Tinton Falls, N.J. and 40-year-old Thomas Scalgione of Manahawkin, N.J. used the money they raised for their own personal gain. It also alleges that the pair — who both have criminal records — failed to register the charity as required by state law. 
The two men have driven throughout the state in a pickup truck painted with the names of first responders who died in the terrorist attacks. Niemczyk claimed to be an ex-Navy SEAL while he solicited donations. 
When NBC 4 New York inadvertently stopped Niemczyk without recognizing him at his apartment complex in Tinton Falls Monday, Niemczyk spoke about himself in the third person. 
"Whatever money I know he collects goes out," he said.
The Stolen Valor law, recently knocked down by the Supreme Court, makes it a right to act like a jackass and claim to be someone who earned military honors. The problem I have with that is that it is all too often done to defraud people, not to pump up a weak resume.

There is definitely a free speech aspect here. Making up lies about yourself in order to impress others is protected free speech; to me it is fraud and should be handled as such.

I hope these clowns end up losing everything, especially their truck.

No Taxes For Ten Years?

Everyone who is blogging about this probably has the same thing to say, and I'm not going to throw fuel on the fire by simply saying my own version of "holy cow!"

This is an apocryphal story, and if it should prove to be true, it really does highlight the divide between rich and poor in this country. America is not a country that wants to hate the rich; far from it. It is a country where being rich is not treated the same way it is treated everywhere else; it is something to aspire to, especially through hard work and perseverance.

The problem with Mitt Romney is that he is running a terrible campaign and he is stonewalling on his tax returns. He is a terrible politician who is fast becoming the poster child for being out of touch, too rich, and indifferent to political realities.

Nobody wants to hate Romney; people want to like him, but he is too used to holding his nose and stiff-arming the little people. He is an order giver, not a politician. He has failed to find his true calling in life, and, for that, we are now suffering.

William Jacobson Doesn't Even Pretend to Not Be Racist Anymore

Of course, Obama related to first black slave on his, um, mother’s side
Et tu, Ancestry.com? Why have you sold your integrity by “cobbling” together facts, making “deductions” and ultimately telling us that Obama is related to slave “John Punch” because the last name sounds like Obama’s mother’s ancestor “Bunch.” 
I’m just waiting for someone to link Obama’s first black slave ancestor to Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee ancestor, you know, the one with the high cheekbones.
I love it when the smell of wingnut rises in the morning.

Here we have a "respectable" educator and a professor and a highly-popular conservative blogger, and all that's missing are his Klan robes and his copy of "The Bell Curve." And he'll have a "heh, indeed," from Instapundit before the day is through, no doubt.

The Infuriating Smugness of a Lame Tech Blogger

Wilson Rothman, get out of town.

I can't stand smug, knowing, insider-ish writing, especially from a tech blogger who thinks others are hanging on every new development.

If Microsoft is, indeed, getting rid of Hotmail, then that's a sore spot for me. I've had my Hotmail account since the summer of 1997 and it is the one thing that I have hung on to throughout my travels on the Internet and all that.

My Hotmail account is me, on the web, for all intents and purposes, and I am going to miss it if Microsoft kills it off.

This is not the way to notify customers of changes; this is why Microsoft is turning into a massive joke.

Mitt Romney Should Have Stayed Home

No one has had a more disaster-prone trip overseas in recent memory than Mitt Romney's summer debacle. You'd have to go back to Richard Nixon's limousine being pelted with eggs and rocks in Latin America to find anything comparable. 

It has gotten tense within the Romney campaign:
When the pool and traveling reporters were told to return to their busses, Haake adds, a mass of reporters instead headed over to the motorcade area, where Romney was observing another monument. It was there the press started shouting questions. An example: “Gov. Romney, are you concerned about some of the mishaps on your trip?” Another: “Gov. Romney, do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” And: “What about your gaffes?” Another Romney press aide fired back, “Show some respect,” adding: “Kiss my ass. This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.” That press aide later apologized to some of the reporters, but the damage was done.
Whoever is still working for Romney has no idea what they're doing anymore. At something as simple as a monument visit, things should never get out of hand like that.

If I was a Republican, I'd pray for a brokered convention that would dump Romney in favor of anyone with a pulse, crazy or not.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Biggest Thing in the World

Is there a reason why I don't care about any of this?

I am a winter olympics sort of person; I have never followed the summer olympics.

False controversies like this really do not interest me, either. There HAS to be drama, so they add fake sound effects and try to tell the "human emotion" and "popular interest" stories in manners outlined above.

It is contrived to think that a soccer player would make a stand on Twitter against an announcer, and do so out of some sort of need to be honest. If threatened with expulsion, the comments would be pulled down. There is no courage exhibited here; merely a tolerance for social media bitching and carping that extends to everyone at the games. This is not a male or female issue; it's a marketing issue.

NBC is going to take yet another bath on these games. Their coverage has been, and will be, dismal. Why bother?

I guess it is because I am a terrible, terrible sports blogger. I simply do not care.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Who Would You Rather Have a Beer With?

Tim Pawlenty makes a lame and rather dismal remark:
What's a folksy, blue-collar pitch from a Midwestern pol without a good beer analogy? 
Appearing at a GOP Victory office opening in swing state North Carolina, Tim Pawlenty on Saturday compared the President Barack Obama's lofty rhetoric of hope and change to the unsatisfying byproduct of a poor-quality keg of an adult beverage. 
"We got a problem because we've got a president who's all foam and no beer," declared the former Minnesota governor and top GOP VP pick.
The crowd of about 300 supporters roared.
"I don't know about you but I'm tired of hearing these teleprompter speeches and no results!" he said. "You know his big fancy speeches from four years ago; those speeches, those words don't put gas in our cars do they? And his teleprompter speeches don't pay the mortgage do they?"
What is sadder? The fact that three hundred people "roared" at something as lame and as pathetic as an "all foam, no beer" remark or that they all forgot the fact that his comparison, making Romney a beer with no foam, goes against Romney's Mormon faith? I cannot decide.

Who would you rather have a beer with? How about we leave that for another discussion about a complete and utter lack of substance in our politics.

I do know this--if you're going to talk to Republicans about Romney, avoid comparisons to alcohol and avoid making the case that President Obama was making speeches that would turn into gas in cars and mortgage payments. He never promised anything like that. And I guess Mitt Romney, who doesn't drink beer, cannot use a teleprompter from here on in. Nice one.

Is Mitt Romney going to put gas in cars and pay mortgages? I thought Republicans were for small government, leaving people alone, and letting people pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Do they need a Republican to get elected president so that he will do those things for them?

Pawlenty may have just talked himself out of a vice-presidential slot.

Church in Wolfach, Germany

A church steeple in Wolfach, Germany.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Understanding Hillary Clinton

Reuters has a magazine article up on Hillary Clinton that is definitely worth looking at. This stood out:
the more Clinton waxed on about Suu Kyi, the more I thought that she was also talking about herself—a celebrity first lady with a troubled marriage who could have chosen to opt out of politics entirely but instead launched a whole new career as an ambitious United States senator turned combative presidential candidate before morphing yet again over the last few years into the most globetrotting top diplomat in American history. "When I was first lady," recalled Clinton, "I could say anything I wanted to say, and I often did." Here she stopped for one of her trademark deep laughs before adding, "for better or worse." It's a laugh that makes her very human—and also one that immediately calls to mind the many controversies of Clinton's long career. Remember "the vast right-wing conspiracy" that was out to get her husband during the Monica Lewinsky scandal? And her defiant taunting of Barack Obama during the 2008 primaries, when she said her future boss wasn't nearly experienced enough to take that 3 a.m. phone call? Now Clinton has a different role and a different set of dilemmas: If she speaks too forcefully about human rights, she'll be chided for letting wild-eyed activism get in the way of America's economic interests. But if she fails to bash the Chinese over their harsh treatment of dissidents and brutal suppression of free speech, then she'll be called a sellout. Her shape-shifting career guarantees that Clinton will be criticized at every turn, but it also gives her the opportunity, as she notes about Suu Kyi, "to put into practice everything she's been thinking about and working on her entire adult life."
The reason why it is so difficult for Clinton to speak about human rights is because few of her predecessors did enough on behalf of human rights to give her any room with which to work. Diplomacy is very much a game where you have to walk in the footsteps of your predecessors; for the entirety of the Bush Administration, Colin Powell and Condi Rice were de facto absent from any substantive discussion about human rights. The world suffered mightily for it.

Clinton will always be a victim of sexism and Republican hatred. They despised her then and they despise her now. On substance, she is better than all of them, and they know it.

The End is Nigh

Even though it is the middle of summer, and few voters are paying attention, you can be rest assured that whoever is running Claire McCaskill's reelection campaign is watching these polls.

The President is not popular in Missouri, and he's not going to win that state. McCaskill has tried to carry out her Senate duties as a centrist, and nobody's buying that. Replacing her with one of these nutjob Republicans is a non-starter; I refuse to be a purity troll and celebrate her being thrown out of the Senate.

But, here's reality for you--Missouri is going to send wingnuts to Congress, sooner rather than later. Might as well make them work for the seat.

My Neglected Little Scribd Account

Scribd had such promise; where did that promise go?

Well, the inclusiveness of sharing posts on Google+ has been a wonderful development for me, and that's probably the one thing that has been responsible for causing me to stop uploading documents on Scribd.

When I analyzed traffic from Scribd, there was virtually nothing coming from there to indicate that Scribd readers were engaging my content and going to visit my sites; Google+ is entirely the opposite. Not only do I get hits, feedback and praise, I see real traffic.

Scribd, however, has redesigned their website. Featured documents are prominently displayed and everything else kinds of disappears into undefined columns and gutters. They need more lines to separate things; minimalism is fine, but there's too much content splattered about. The document about cinematography occupies the center mass of the upper half of the site but the document thumbnail is improperly formatted.

Anyway, Scribd was a great idea, but you won't find much of me there anymore.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another Flip Flop For Mitt Romney

The problem with foreigners is that they don't behave like the people Romney pays to shine his shoes:
Mitt Romney found that all politics are, in fact, local after being forced Thursday to clarify remarks about London's preparation for the Olympics, which prompted a minor uproar in the British press. 
In his interview last night with NBC’s Brian Williams, Romney called several logistical issues at the 2012 Olympic games here “disconcerting” -- including a contracted security firm’s failure to provide enough personnel -- and said that a possible planned strike by customs and immigration officials was “not something which is encouraging.” 
Local press seized on the comments, which generated buzz on British television today and which one newspaper columnist called “derisory." Even Prime Minister David Cameron reacted, pointing out that the London games were being held in a major metropolitan area, not in “the middle of nowhere,” a comment interpreted as a reference to the games Romney headed in Salt Lake City in 2002.
I realize that the only thing Romney has to do is appear presidential at this point, but his failure to accomplish even the visuals and not offend his hosts is an amazing failure. Who is advising Romney and why haven't they been fired yet?

The Perfect Way to Change the Subject

American workers aren't all bad, of course. We have plenty of highly skilled people. What we lack are ethical capitalists who actually want to produce things and take measured risks. And, when you think about it, why should they do the right thing? This notion that they can't find workers is yet another wingnut myth--it has no basis in reality.

The current system rewards cutting workers, shedding overhead, and taking a short-term gain instead of investing and growing companies over the long haul. Nobody cares what the profits might be in two or three years; American companies live or die by the next quarter. If the choice is to keep profits flat or cut a thousand workers and see a jump in the value of the stock, guess who's going to be looking for work? The CEO or the thousand workers sacrificed to make things look profitable? It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, until, of course, there's no one left to fire.

If we had a tax policy that rewarded job creation and investment, you might see a change in this outlook. But, instead, you have a corporate culture which worships at the altar of cutting, not investing.

One of the biggest enablers of this outright theft of productivity is Tom Friedman. How many times do we need to hear that American workers have no skills? Well, that's all dashed to pieces now, isn't it? The problem is, no one cares.

Another Rat Jumps Into the Water

The amount of money that might have to be paid out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky is staggering. No wonder they are terrified at the prospect of having to pay out what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.

What people don't realize is that if the insurer does not pay, the taxpayers of Pennsylvania will be on the hook for the money that will bleed Penn State dry. There are no ethics left when you can't even get a major insurance company to honor a signed contract. What are they going to do? Sell off University property? Who would buy a state-of-the-art football stadium in the middle of nowhere?

You could, literally, field a professional football team from State College and call them the Settlements. They could play eight games a year in the stadium and the proceeds could go towards paying off the victims. The NFL is an organization with parity anyway; in ten years, this could be a Superbowl team.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Inbetweeners

I have just finished watching all 18 of the series episodes of The Inbetweeners. I will probably watch the movie at some point; and why not? This was a brilliant show, and as a latecomer, I feel blessed because I did not have to wait for new shows. That must have been agony.

First of all, the cast is perfect. Their chemistry is without peer; the next best thing that I can think of would be The Kids in the Hall.

Second, the stories are a run through every non-cliche you can think of. There are more ideas in this show than you would get from any American sitcom.

Third, there is no way to translate this to an American audience. The show is too real. Americans simply could not handle any of the graphic sex, the drugs, or the lawlessness. Even in the post-Borat world, there's no chance an American audience would be exposed to anything remotely like the British series.

Good luck with that.

The End of Decency and Civilization

So, America's darling had sex with a married man, and now all is destroyed and ruined. What a load of melodrama.

I suppose Kristen Stewart has to do penance for this nonsense, and that will involve pretending to be sorry, wearing a scarlet letter A on her chest, and the end of some forty year-old dude's marriage. This will fuel a decade or more of phony outrage

In other words, business as usual in the whole entire world everywhere over.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A One Hundred Round Drum

A 100-round drum for the AR-15 Assault Rifle 
AR-15 with scope and 100-round drum (this is not the weapon used in the Colorado attacks)

I have to admit--I did not know you could legally purchase a 100-round drum for the AR-15 assault rifle, which is a knockoff of the M16.  the civilian version of the M16.

When I used the M16A2 rifle, the largest clip we were issued was a thirty round clip. This would get you through a range qualification and that was the extent of my experience.

Seriously--James Holmes had a 100-round drum and had purchased 3,000 rounds? And we still can't have a discussion about gun control, ever?

What a crazy world.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The FBI Failed to Stop Major Nidal Hasan

If it's Friday in July, then someone must be dumping some bad news.

In this case, the FBI is offloading an embarrassing report that should be widely publicized and debated. Guess what? Not going to happen.

It should not surprise anyone that a former director of the FBI has just delivered a bombshell. The FBI failed to perform due diligence. It failed to adequately follow up on what Major Nidal Hasan was up to. It failed to step in and give the United States Army what they needed to get this guy outprocessed into Fort Living Room with some clearly-defined level of urgency.

The ridiculous use of the term "Defense Department bosses" leaves little to the imagination. As soon as Hasan was discovered to be in conversations with al-Awlaki, two things should have happened, that damned day: he should have been placed in custody, pending a hearing and he should have had his security clearance revoked, pending further investigation. They should have frog-marched him out of the building he was in and locked him up (with all due process, of course). That did not happen.

We do know that his chain of command at the now-defunct or soon-to-be-closed Walter Reed Army Medical Center passed him on to Fort Hood without actually evaluating him properly as an officer. The mere fact that he was promoted, despite displaying incompetence in the performance of his duties, indicates that the Army's officer evaluation system is broken.

In other words, the FBI shit the bed and people died due to incompetence.

This is a sad state of affairs that we find ourselves in. And, to be specific about it, they should forcibly shave Hasan's beard clean off. He is still an officer in the United States Army. He should be forced to comply with proper grooming standards. Whatever religion he claims to follow is simply not Islam.

Pat Sajak is Still Drunk on the Job

The defining moment in Pat Sajak's life must have been when he would show up for work, drunk as a skunk, and perform his gameshow host duties while inebriated in front of an audience that couldn't tell the difference between him being sober or sloshed.

He seems to have missed the defining moment of this issue, which was when the Obama campaign dropped an ad where Mitt Romney came out against entrepreneurialism, too.

It kind of makes you wonder if Sajak is drunk-blogging his way through life now. How sad. I hope he gets some help. I hear he's a national treasure.

Say Anything, But Don't Say Anything About Gun Control

It is a tragic thing for people to have to live through something like this. I cannot imagine the horror and the pain that the people in Colorado are experiencing right now.

What I know is this--no one better say anything about gun control. No one better bring it up and make the case that enforcing existing laws isn't really cutting it when there are so many felons and crazy people getting their hands on guns. No one better speak up and say something along the lines of, "hey, maybe we should do something about how easy it is for the mentally ill to get weapons that can kill a lot of people."

How much do you want to bet there was at least one thirty round clip used in this incident? Anyone? Do the math--fifty or sixty shots and two firearms. Body armor? Why do we allow the sale of body armor anyway?

Body armor is designed to keep you alive long enough to finish your shooting spree. Beyond that, only cops and the military should have access to it. Yeah, that makes me a sucker and a fool, but, guess what? I can't think of a single, solitary reason for anyone not a cop and not in the military to have body armor unless they're involved in drug dealing or planning the next shooting spree.

I'm not suggesting that we take away your squirrel rifle, grampa. I'm not with the bleeding hearts who are calling for a ban on all guns, every gun, whichever gun there is that can be banned. I'm thinking about background checks that matter and the end of gun show sales to whoever walks up with cash money.

I'm not going to be surprised at all when we learn the details behind the life of the sick and deranged asshole who did this (and, don't worry--this will hardly harsh the summer movie buzz that is the latest Batman movie).

Apparently, he didn't have the decency to off himself and bring about his own demise--what a coward.

This is altogether too depressing to think about beyond having some sympathy for the victims.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We’ve Given All You People Need to Know

In other words, fuck off, peasants.

Ann Romney has given the Democratic Party a gift that will keep on giving well into late October. If they're going to stonewall, let them stonewall. See where that gets you with the American people. They love it when a politician gets caught hiding something.

For the record, I think that the Romney tax returns are completely legal and beyond reproach. I think they demonstrate a skillful manipulation of the tax code and they highlight the divide between those who pay taxes and those who don't. The Romney returns likely show millions of dollars being sheltered overseas, a decade or more of being completely zeroed out, tax-wise, with no taxes paid and a massive accumulation of wealth in a 401K that would shock most retirees.

What is legal is not always ethical, and, if you're running for President, you should have figured out that difference years ago. Apparently, Romney's greed exceeds his ability to use common sense.

But I can't stop laughing at this:
“We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she added later.

You people? Really? Tone deaf much?

Someone has failed to explain to Mrs. Romney that, when speaking to the lower classes, the use of "you people" is a pejorative that simply will not please the marketing people in the Romney campaign who are trying to increase the likability of the brand.

Kinder Eggs Are Not Controversial

It drives wingnuts crazy that we now have a President who actually kills terrorists and defends America, especially since he's a Democrat and a black man to boot.

I'm not sure what the thrust of this is--satire or mere stupidity. President Obama authorized the killing of Osama bin Laden. Case closed. Kinder Eggs killed at least four children in the 1990s because they inadvertently swallowed the toys embedded inside of them. Kinder Eggs are illegal in the United States because you are not allowed to put toys or items that cannot be eaten inside of things that can be eaten for obvious reasons.

Adults are sophisticated enough to deal with Kinder Eggs; children are not. It's that simple. The controversy over their ban in the United States was fanned a few years ago when a conservative reacted with indignation when they were confiscated from him when he entered the United States. Here, we have laws. Elsewhere, they bury dead children. Where would you rather live?

So, in and of itself, the comic is fine; I don't have a problem with that. But the details render it somewhat soft and fuzzy as far as being satirical or having a point.

How is This a Crime?

America's laws are, to put it mildly, often in conflict with common sense.

First of all, who is Willard harming here? What standard of community tolerance is he offending by sitting in an adult theater, doing whatever he was doing? Do you really think that he--or any of the other patrons--went to see those films with the intent of critiquing them for their personal blogs?

Second, this was in Hollywood? And Willard didn't do what he was doing in front of several hundred people at his home? Again, which standard of community decency are we applying here?

Third, this is as old school as it gets. I read this story and I thought of the 1970s, which is when Willard would have been in his forties. Think about that for a minute--he's 77, and he is willing to venture outside of his home and go into an X-rated theater (yes, they still have those, apparently). You have to admire someone who is still that sexually innocent. No Internet for poor Fred--he rolls with his own hand in his own pants with the classical moves of a man who must have welcomed the advent of the adult theater back in the day. Judge not lest ye be judged.

We live in a society where comedians like Louis CK feature masturbation in their acts and where a person can't go find some release for their stress in an adult movie theater? Again, where's the connection between what Willard did, which was harmless, and common sense?

Americans have a hangup about sex. This has been exposed and discussed countless times. We have to start growing up about these things. We have to start trying to understand that some people have needs, and some people deserve some dignity and respect. You can laugh about the fact that this was a celebrity, but, the way I see it, this was just an old guy looking to let off some steam. There should be a sign out front of all adult theaters that says, "look, you know what goes on here, I know what goes on here, let's cut people some slack, okay? Now, go catch someone robbing someone, Johnny Law."

The amount of visual sexual stimulation that the average 18 year-old is exposed to today would have blown away an 18 year-old Fred Willard in 1952. There isn't anything that he's seen that doesn't comport with how American society has evolved since then. And this is the right use of our police resources? Hassling a 78 year-0ld man in an adult movie theater?

What do people think goes on in there anyway? Sheesh. At a minimum--let's at least agree that people have the right to a little privacy. Was this really in public? In the darkness of an adult movie theater? Please. This is somewhat different than if Willard was smashing kiwis into his shorts in the middle of Albertsons.

Anyway, Willard deserves a pass and I hope the legal system agrees with me.

Communism is So Over, Man

The Daily Caller dissolves further into madness and irrelevance with this whopper of a "story."

Did you catch a whiff of the anti-semitic overtones? A "Jewish" summer camp for activists? Oh, heavens. Is that where this failed media experiment is aligned now? Does that mean they have gone full evangelical wingnut?

This is a classic example of inductive reasoning. If someone has no evidence, they look for an example of where someone somewhere held an opinion a long time ago that can be conflated to mean this when it really doesn't mean that. And it means that they absolutely, positively have to be true believers of that same outdated opinion and have an insidious plot to destroy America by introducing Communism, which, of course, has been utterly rejected time and time again by the American people.

I mean, holy cow. Is it time for that Red Dawn discussion group yet?

Phony and Manipulative Practices at the Olympics

Watching sports on mute eliminates a lot of nonsense. Who actually needs "enhanced" or phony sound affects when watching someone perform their sport?

In point of fact, most of the competitors utter nothing and make no discernible sounds when performing; why does anyone believe that these things need to be artificially enhanced?

This is why the London Olympics are going to go down as being much, much worse than the Beijing Olympics; instead of fake facades and hidden dog carcasses, we get someone riding a hot level.

This is How You Talk to a Wingnut

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who works for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and her ability to confuse even the most capable of wingnut bloggers is worth admiring.

Her marriage to Senator Sherrod Brown has to be some sort of trick designed to inflict maximum psychic pain on whoever it was that thought they were getting a major scoop on their competition (my money is on Jim Hoft or Dan Riehl).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Your Father Didn't Get There on His Own, Dumbass

You have to love the personally-charged ignorance in this statement:
There was no federal bailout money for us. No Republican corporate welfare. No Democratic handouts. No bipartisan lobbyists working the angles. No Tony Rezkos. No offshore accounts. No Obama bucks. 
Just two immigrant brothers and their families risking everything, balancing on the economic high wire, building a business in America. They sacrificed, paid their bills, counted pennies to pay rent and purchase health care and food and not much else. And for their troubles they were muscled by the politicos, by the city inspectors and the chiselers and the weasels, all those smiling extortionists who held the government hammer over all of our heads. 
I thought about this after I heard what Obama told a campaign crowd the other day, speaking about business owners and why they were successful. 
"You didn't get there on your own," Obama said. "I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
This is the kind of mentality that should be driving people crazy right now. It speaks volumes as to how ignorant John Kass truly is and it speaks to this idea that Mitt Romney cares about the little guy.

Subtract thirty or forty years from Kass' biography, and go back to when his father and his uncle were grocers, and you land smack dab in the 1960s and 1970s in America. You land there in a time of inflation, economic uncertainty, war, Civil Rights, and tough times on the South Side of Chicago. 

Who built the streets that their store was on? Who policed the neighborhood so that their precious stock was protected from thieves? Who was there to put out any fire? Who was there to make certain that a larger grocery store couldn't run them out of business with toughs and firebombs? That was the point of the President's remarks, dumbass.

You end up with a picture that Kass clearly can't articulate--a picture of tough times for a lot of people, certainly, but a time when people paid much more in taxes than they do now and a time when people didn't have much if they were at or below the poverty line. The tough times of today are different. Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges. That's why I can say that the small grocers of that time were pikers compared to the grocers of the 1930s, who would have given their right arm to have what Kass and his family had. I mean, you can go back to the 1870s and laugh at everyone who came after--those were the real grocers in America, those poor fellows trying to make it back then.

Those times are long gone. But what Kass doesn't understand is that things would have been a hell of a lot easier for him and his family if there had been the kinds of programs people are fighting to keep right now--programs like food stamps, public assistance, small business subsidies, and loan programs designed to help his family grow and expand their business. Those things still exist because President Obama is all that stands between what we have now and a future where billionaires will control every penny in America.

Of course, all we hear about is how the government is just pissing money away. But, wait a minute--money that goes to people to help them buy food to cover the gap between insufficient paychecks then goes to the people who sell them that food--the grocery store owners. What an evil state of affairs--government helping people to buy food, people buying food, and grocery stores staying in business because of the extra business. That's enough to make you want to go Galt, doesn't it?

The advent of those programs has meant that small grocers have a chance now--a better chance than they have ever had. President Obama is the one candidate in this race who can give those people a better chance. If you think starving the poor to death out of some Randian idea of instilling self-sufficiency will work, then go back to the 1870s and tell me how that was all sunshine and moonbeams for the people who lived during those times.

The grocer of today has a fighting chance at getting a thing like health care coverage for workers. Guess which party wants to blow that away.

I mean, honestly. When Kass and his family were struggling, the Romneys were living high on the hog. George Romney was running a major car company and the state of Michigan. His son was pranking his way through life without a care in the world. And Barack Obama is the one who doesn't understand what working people are dealing with?


When Romney was running Bain Capital until he decided to retroactively retire, he ate people like Kass' father and uncle for breakfast, destroying their dreams, inflating their companies with debt, and cutting them loose with nothing.

The problem is, John Kass doesn't realize that the only reason why he's even able to spread his nonsense through the massive pipeline of misinformation that he resides in is because no one--no one--is fully articulating the fact that government ain't all bad.

That Poor Man

The "regulators" caused him to commit massive, sustained fraud? Really?

That poor man. Poor Russell Wasendorf. He must feel so oppressed and uncomfortable right now.

Were it not for the fact that they essentially deregulated his industry in the late 1990s with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act, I would probably be running a fundraiser for Wasendorf right now. I wonder how much of Wasendorf's stolen cash ended up in Representative Jim Leach's pocket.

Perhaps if the investors were to stop in and say hello to former Congressman Leach, he could give them some bumming around money.

It's a sad state of affairs when a country full of defanged regulators can drive a man to self-immolation like this. America is collapsing all around us and rich, wealthy, powerful men like Russell Wasendorf are being hounded by jackals simply for stealing money that wasn't his.

I'd put up a PayPal fundraiser, but I suspect someone would just regulate that into oblivion as well.

No Wonder He Lives in New Zealand

This case continues to fall apart. New Zealand is, after all, a whole other country from the rest of the world. Isolation breeds individualism, and, well, judges can have their opinions, can't they?

The issue of intellectual property is one that affects people from all walks of life. If the Megaupload case collapses, and if the United States government ends up eating the costs of pursuing this case, then the taxpayers are going to feel the pinch.

The media companies have a lot riding on this as well. There is a tremendous amount of money and prestige on the line. You can set aside the fact that, yes, Megaupload was used to steal intellectual property and copyrighted material--the bottom line is that it will get harder and harder to protect the rights of people who make content.

Once people who make content realize that there's no point in making it, there won't be anyone other than nostalgia for everyone else left to steal.

No One Saw This Coming

I think we are well past the moment where it should have dawned on someone to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan over a year ago, but oh well. This is just another reminder of how far we need to go before American foreign policy starts to look normal again.

We are more than capable of supplying our forces, but it is significantly cheaper to truck stuff in. This added expense pours on the folly, in other words. The folly of trying to build a nation for people who don't want it, the folly of putting a tens of thousands of American troops in the middle of a land-locked country in Asia, and the folly of thinking the Taliban aren't prepared to destroy more trucks--this is what we're dealing with.

America needs to leave Afghanistan, and soon. It's over. It's all over but the shouting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In the Couldn't Get Any Dumber Department...

Which "Dems" are these? Not me. I'm going to use Aquaman against Romney.

Noted mouthbreather Jim Hoft attracts some serious talent to his house of nutty cards:

If you want a great example as to why the conservative movement can't acquire any purchase in the popular culture, look no further than the squirming minds behind these kinds of comments. This is as far as they get, mentally or otherwise, in a debate about what's happening in our country.

The fact that there's this overhyped film coming out, that we're entering the political contest for the Presidency, and that the Republicans nominated a candidate who has a shady business past, an inability to articulate why his abilities as a businessman are a positive, and can't campaign to save his life is whose fault? Oh, that's right. Hollyweird.

Mental midgets, one and all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dave Zirin Simply Doesn't Get It

Dave Zirin, who is the sports editor for The Nation, loses his mud here.

It's not like there's anything to gain from defending Penn State at this point. It's not like anyone is going to look to Rick Reilly with anything other than pity and disdain.

The problem here is this: Joe Paterno didn't give a damn about the children that Jerry Sandusky molested. That's now a proven fact. And what makes that the crux of everything that is going on here is that, were it not for Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky would have been caught, tried, and convicted of child molestation a decade or more ago--thus saving several young boys from being molested.

What was it that gave Joe Paterno the power to do such a thing?

Penn State Football.

Who enabled him?

Penn State Football.

What was the source of his ability to intimidate officials into doing nothing?

Penn State Football.

What is the sole reason anyone in America even knows who Joe Paterno is?

Penn State Football.

And we're talking about defending the very institution that spun out of control and allowed this thing to happen? There is no defense. The part of Penn State University that was under the control of Joe Paterno has not been under the control of the university for decades. Decades.

The reason why children were raped is because Penn State University did not have effective operational control over the men's football team because Joe Paterno had too much power and was too influential to allow anyone to control his team. His coaches, trainers, players and whoever else were all, effectively, completely in his hands and no one could touch him.

The very fact that the man was untouchable should tell you that there was and is a structural problem at Penn State that cannot be fixed unless and until the football program is, effectively, ended and then rebuilt under a new system of rules and in a way that will place it under institutional control.

Dave Zirin can't admit it--Penn State Football became the most insidious kind of criminal organization--one outside of the control of the people who were corrupt enough themselves to revel in the fact that they were winning football games while children were being raped in the showers. It was something utterly hellish and vile, and we're talking about how "spare me" is an effective rhetorical defense of what, exactly?

Spare me the details--football means what now?


So, you tell me. A man with tremendous power and influence is faced with a choice. He can do the right thing or he can turn a blind eye to what's happening in his own football program in order to continue his march to glory and the record books. And so, he chooses Penn State Football over children who are being molested.

What needs to happen here is this--Penn State Football needs to go away for a while, possibly for good, to set an example as to what can happen when an institution loses functional control of a major asset like the Men's Division I college football team. It needs to go away because the very foundation of Penn State Football is now so encrusted with filth and slime they're actually remodeling the showers where Jerry Sandusky raped children.

And you want to defend these people?

The Nation needs a new sports editor.

Congratulations, Wingnuts. You Gave Money to a Child Molester

Oh, my.

Let's parse this new revelation, shall we?

Since the murder of Trayvon Martin, all we have heard from the wingnut chorus are the songs of love and devotion for one George Zimmerman, he of the stand your ground moment against the hoodie-wearing thug. For example, here's the most recent post on Zimmerman at Just One Minute. Can't wait to see how they spin this.

Think of the defenses they have used for this man--that he's a decent person who defended himself. That he was all that stood between anarchy and civilization. That he is being railroaded by the media. That he deserves to be defended.

Well, congratulations to all of you out there who sent money to this guy. Congratulations, wingnuts. You ponied up a massive amount of money to defend a child molester.

That's right--George Zimmerman is, apparently, a child molester. And, while our concerns should be for the victim in this case--a woman who is, apparently, no longer afraid of him--you have to concede that George Zimmerman has left a lot of victims in his wake besides Trayvon Martin. He is a monster who needs to be locked up and denied ownership of a firearm for the rest of his life, for starters.

Of course, the defense of Zimmerman is based on one thing--hating young black men. That's what it boils down to. Those people who gave him the money he shuffled around and hid from the authorities and talked about in code with his wife? Yeah, every penny of that money tumbled into his PayPal or whatever specifically because there are a lot of Americans who, apparently, hate young black men.

Zimmerman has raised, what? Several hundred thousand dollars? Much of it donated in very small amounts, I would imagine, and donated from people who used their E-mail addresses? Oh, what I wouldn't give to send every one of those people a congratulatory message of thanks and devotion--a message that says, simply, "thank you for your race-based knee-jerk defense of a child molester."

I remember slapping myself on the forehead months ago, shocked that these people would defend such an obvious head case. I remember dozens of extremely abusive DISQUS comments (I dumped my DISQUS account largely because I was tired of seeing comments from people who cannot think and spell) from people convinced that Zimmerman was an upstanding, good guy.

What judgment!

In the days and weeks ahead, let's have a look at how many people delete their defense of Zimmerman from their blogs and move the goalposts some more, shall we?

Sarah Palin MUST Speak at the Republican Convention

You can't get away with not inviting Sarah Palin:
On the day that Mitt Romney formally announced his run for the presidency last year, he found himself competing with a stiff New Hampshire wind, which stood his hair on end and played havoc with his microphones. What blew in later was even more distracting: the red, white, and blue bus bearing Sarah Palin on her “One Nation” tour. Palin stole the headlines, and Romney’s buzz, that day (“Coincidence,” she said), and beyond. Through much of the summer, she hovered at the edge of the Republican primary campaign as a shadow candidate, once predicting that she could not only beat Romney, but President Obama, too, before finally declaring herself out of the race last fall. 
But Palin continued to vex Romney’s candidacy, questioning his conservatism, encouraging the non-Romneys still in the race, and publicly cheering for the prospect of an open convention. Even after Romney clinched the race in late spring, Palin remained pointedly hesitant about the presumed Republican nominee. She has not yet extended to Romney her full endorsement, and, while she speaks animatedly of the urgency of defeating President Obama in November, her support for Romney derives from the fact that Romney meets Palin’s threshold qualification—as “anybody but Obama.”
Every time Palin speaks in public, the albatross she hangs around the necks of Republicans everywhere gets a little heavier. Let's be totally honest, though. The Romney people can get away with not inviting her solely because she has chosen the career path of celebrity rather than leader.

She has to be allowed to whip up her followers and send them off into that good night with fear in their eyes, confusion in their minds, and bile in their throats.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rothenburg ob Der Tauber Rathaus

The Rathaus in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

No, those clouds and the sky are not photoshopped in. Who has that kind of time? Not me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mitt Romney Gave John McCain 23 Years of Tax Returns

Wait a minute--are you kidding me?

Mitt Romney gave John McCain's campaign 23 years worth of tax returns in 2008? But he won't give those up now?

Romney disclosed 23 years worth of financial dealings--and McCain picked Sarah Palin instead?

I guess the only way to end the speculation over what's in those tax returns is to release them so that we can go back to ignoring the fact that Mitt Romney has some serious ethical problems when it comes to financial disclosure.

Time For a Kick in the Nuts

There are so many things to love about this ad, not the least of which is that kicker, which I've highlighted above. It devastates the rationale for electing Romney in order to fix what ails America's economy. It absolutely does.

First, it is so dramatically good and devastating at the same time. It carves up Romney's ability to appear "relatable" with something dumb he did in the desperate days of the Republican primary season.

Second, it shows him embarrassing himself in public, trying to appear homey and folksy while actually appearing to be rather McCain like. I thought of John McCain when I saw this ad; I don't know why. Perhaps it is because Romney is trying so hard to love America more than anyone else.

Third, it is, for all intents and purposes, an ad running in July which kicks the Romney campaign square in the nuts. Where are the weak, tepid, wishy-washy ads we're supposed to see from the mild-mannered Democrats right now? Anyone and everyone who was betting on a nerdy, milquetoast campaign from President Obama better find their cup.

I mean, wow. What an ad.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Due to the fact that someone wrote something about drones, I sometimes feel like I have to revisit the subject and clumsily talk about it. This is what I have, so far, because I think that the enthusiasm for the use of drones is very similar to the enthusiasm that existed for invading Iraq in 2003.

Using drones is a form of remote-control warfare that gives us a great body count but actually causes a lot of viable intelligence sources to dry up or change communication methods, resulting in less capability for figuring out what's going on, big picture. Drones were supposed to supplement intelligence gathering, and then someone stuck missiles under the wings and told a general officer that "oh yeah, and we can kill with this thing, too."

With that, the collective wisdom is "let's do this cheap, fast, and with a lot of violence." When drones are no longer useful, what then? We do not live in a world where a weapon that gives us enormous advantages is going to be unanswered.

This mentality caused us to do things in Iraq "cheap, fast, and with a lot of violence," and that led us to a situation where we lost the big picture and ended up driving around in remote parts of the country with the wrong vehicles and taking huge casualties for years and years. When our tactics were challenged, and when we had no viable answers, we blundered on, sacrificing lives for little or no gain. Will we do that when our drones are dropping out of the sky or can no longer find viable targets?

For reasonably little cost, and with no threat to a human pilot, the drone is being used in two ways. First, it has the ability to collect intelligence, not limited to imagery, communications, and numerous other emitters. Second, you can combine that with the ability push a button and deliver weapons mounted on the drone or delivered from another platform.

This can be done from a command and control center that allows more than one or two people to assess risk and act on a threat. This distributes accountability from one pilot to a remote pilot and the intelligence and command personnel working in the same space.

When you have a room full of people who can kill someone, the problem is, they tend to kill a lot of people and can avoid a lot of accountability at the same time. This eliminates the idea that one person is going to pull a trigger. The room pulls the trigger. The room engages in the collective decision to use all of the tools at their disposal to justify pulling the trigger. Yes, the remote pilot hits the button, but he does so with a room full of people there to share the consequences. This means that if you have a problem with what the drone killed, you have a problem with a room full of people, not a pilot. And that room has a lot of plausible deniability.

Do you want America to have a thousand of those rooms?There is going to be a moment of clarity when someone says that using drones to kill people wasn't really the game changer we thought it was, and that it will lead to a response from our enemies that ended up being more costly than we ever could have imagined.

Yes, Ann Laurie's analogy to Trayvon Martin is ridiculous, but the debate over whether or not we should be killing people with drones is not one that should be rooted in legality but in strategy. If our strategy is wrong, being able to say that this was a moral, legal, or just thing to do won't mean anything.

Ignore the Bedwetters

You would think that the Romney campaign would have harsh words for the Obama Campaign and the media, but why do they say such terrible things about the people who are supposedly on their side?
“We went through this in the primary,” the adviser said. “You have a lot of people inside the Beltway, who like to sit back and be armchair quarterbacks, strategists who talk to you and don’t go on the record. We have a plan. We know what the plan is, and we’re going to implement the plan.” 
The adviser added: “We aren’t reacting to what the Obama campaign does. … We aren’t reacting to what Republican strategists do. We’ve got a plan to win. We know what it takes and that’s what we’re going to do. All of this hew and cry, you know, from the bedwetters who get to sit on the sidelines, aren’t going to affect what we’re going to do and our plan.” 
In many ways, the Globe story didn’t break a lot of new ground, as several truth squad reports pointed out. It simply renewed focus on the fact that Romney has always stated that he technically left Bain in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Olympics, while maintaining legal and financial ties to the company that didn’t include actively managing its affairs or investments. 
[emphasis mine] 

As far as I know, the revelation from the Boston Globe article was not wholly explored during the primary campaign, and if it had been, I would think that it would have severely damaged Mitt Romney's credibility. It may not have cost him the nomination, but it sure wouldn't look like the huge deal that it is right now.

I don't know how the working media can parse this any other way. Romney has been caught in a massive lie, and the lie is written into the financial disclosure documents that he submitted in order to allow himself to serve as the head of the Winter Olympic Games and to give himself some distance from Bain Capital's connection to outsourcing jobs to China. He has been caught committing and act of outright fraud, a felony-level financial disclosure crime that likely would have resulted in charges if it had been discovered in the early 2000s when he was trying to elevate his national profile.

And that's what this is really all about--Romney has been caught lying about what he owned, what he was worth, and where his money has been sheltered time and time again. He lied so that he could elevate his status in the political world, not the business world. He has no credibility and he has dubious financial ethics. The idea that a venture capitalist of his supposed experience maintained ownership of Bain Capital and then did not "actively" manage its affairs or investments is the sort of dodge that a lot of people sitting in Federal prison have tried in relation to things like insider trading.

It doesn't matter if he was actively involved (a subpoena of E-mails? internal documents? might further prove or disprove this fact) because that's not the standard for ethical disclosure. You either owned it or you did not; Romney owned Bain Capital for three years longer than he admitted to owning it.

That's something the "bedwetters" would call a "big fucking deal."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Been Caught Lying Much?

It would seem to me that the New York City Police Department is engaged in something that really doesn't make sense:

The NYPD is regularly held up as one of the most sophisticated and significant counterterrorism operations in the country. As evidence of the NYPD's excellence, the department, its allies and the media have repeatedly said the department has thwarted or helped thwart 14 terrorist plots against New York since Sept 11. 
In a glowing profile of Commissioner Ray Kelly published in Newsweek last month, for example, journalist Christopher Dickey wrote of the commissioner's tenure since taking office in 2002: The record "is hard to argue with: at least 14 full-blown terrorist attacks have been prevented or failed on Kelly's watch." 
The figure has been cited repeatedly in the media, by New York congressmen, and byKelly himself. The NYPD itself has published the full list, saying terrorists have "attempted to kill New Yorkers in 14 different plots." 
As Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in March: "We have the best police department in the world and I think they show that every single day and we have stopped 14 attacks since 9/11 fortunately without anybody dying."
The idea that a municipality is engaged in fighting terrorism strikes me as being odd, to say the least. What happens when they screw up? Who will answer for that?

There are Federal agencies engaged in fighting terrorism; we have billions being spent on such endeavors. Coordinated efforts are critical for fighting terrorism, and, to this day, I can guarantee you one thing: the FBI doesn't share anything significant with anyone unless they absolutely have to and even then probably doesn't. And we have this much smaller entity out duplicating this effort, answerable to whom? The FBI is, nominally, anyway, answerable to the Executive Branch and to Congress. The NYPD is required to comply with what the city council and the mayor of New York City have to say? Or do they have to answer to the State of New York? Who do they answer to when it is clear that they are leaving their jurisdiction to fight terrorism? I don't understand any of it.

This is hilarious, however:

That's what journalism looks like--afflicting the comfortable never looked so good.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Fanciful Idea

This reads like nonsense:
According to several reports in the Arabic media, prominent Muslim clerics have begun to call for the demolition of Egypt's Great Pyramids--or, in the words of Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi'i, those "symbols of paganism," which Egypt's Salafi party has long planned to cover with wax. Most recently, Bahrain's "Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs" and President of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, called on Egypt's new president, Muhammad Morsi, to "destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not." 
This is a reference to the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's companion, Amr bin al-As and his Arabian tribesmen, who invaded and conquered Egypt circa 641. Under al-As and subsequent Muslim rule, many Egyptian antiquities were destroyed as relics of infidelity. While most Western academics argue otherwise, according to early Muslim writers, the great Library of Alexandria itself--deemed a repository of pagan knowledge contradicting the Koran--was destroyed under bin al-As's reign and in compliance with Caliph Omar's command. 
However, while book-burning was an easy activity in the 7th century, destroying the mountain-like pyramids and their guardian Sphinx was not--even if Egypt's Medieval Mamluk rulers "de-nosed" the latter during target practice (though popular legend still attributes it to a Westerner, Napoleon). 
Now, however, as Bahrain's "Sheikh of Sheikhs" observes, and thanks to modern technology, the pyramids can be destroyed. The only question left is whether the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt is "pious" enough--if he is willing to complete the Islamization process that started under the hands of Egypt's first Islamic conqueror.
The existence of cultural treasures and heritage, as represented by the pyramids of Egypt, has nothing to do with being pious. The pragmatic view is this--destroying the pyramids would trigger revulsion and destroy the basis of pride for many Egyptians. 

It would be a costly and remarkably stupid thing to do, and assuming that the Egyptians would have the money and inclination to do something like this is the height of Western arrogance. It is the very definition of saying that the ignorant have no right to their own history and archeology. You simply have to trust that there is still some remnant of cultural pride that will allow the Egyptians to maintain their pride in what was left to them by the ancients.

Egypt is broke; what precious little money comes into the country is related to tourism. In other words, this is not going to happen.

View From Hohennagold Castle

You can see the fortifications and the hillside from this view, and it was taken from atop the ruins of Hohennagold Castle in Nagold, Germany.

This is one of the better ruined castles; there is quite a bit more of this one to see and experience. Just down the river there is a castle in Bad Wildbad that is still evident but is not as well-preserved as this one.

A Fake Waterfall

While this is not made out of Legos, it is a fake waterfall at Legoland. This is near where you can get on a ride and get wet.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bain, Bain, Bain

I hope the Obama Campaign makes Bain Capital a household word:
There are signs, though, that the Obama campaign’s attacks have had an effect. Forty-two percent of registered voters in a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday said they think Romney’s work as a corporate investor did more to cut jobs, versus 36 percent who said it was more directed toward creating jobs. 
Strikingly, the poll also found that twice as many voters in swing states said that Romney’s business career was a major reason to oppose him than those who said it’s a major reason to support. 
Republicans originally found success in using this line of attack versus Romney as recently as this year. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry pummeled Romney over his business record and personal wealth leading into the South Carolina primary, contributing, in part, to Romney’s loss in that contest. 
Katon Dawson, a longtime figure in South Carolina Republican politics who spearheaded Perry’s campaign there, said he didn’t expect Obama to find much success in using this tactic. 
“If it didn't stick in the Republican primary, it's not going to work in the general,” he said. “There's no way they're going to blame Mitt Romney for a member of their family being out of work.”
I beg to differ. We are in the early period of the 2012 Presidential Election and nobody's paying much attention. That will happen come the day after Labor Day. You know--the day meant to celebrate American labor, which is under relentless assault by the Republican Party? Yoo-hoo?

This is not the Republican contest for the nomination, which was one of the single most dysfunctional things to happen in this country in 78,000 years. This is the big leagues. This is a campaign that is going to be waged on the economy (let's hope) and one that the Obama Administration is going to win, simply because no one is going to believe that a predatory capitalist is the best person for the job of restoring the American economy.

Now, the argument really should be about the obstructionism of the U.S. Congress, as controlled in the House by Republicans. You can't run against Congress, but you can highlight the fact that these people have done everything they can to wreck the American economy through whatever means available to them.

Let's have THAT debate and that discussion and see who wins.